‘Sad’ Manchester City players need ‘time to process’ capitulation against Real Madrid, says Pep Guardiola… but admits he is unsure of the mental impact it will have as they chase fourth Premier League title in five years
Pep Guardiola admitted that he is unsure what mental impact Wednesday night’s capitulation will have on Manchester City.
City were left crushed, with several players strewn on the Bernabeu turf, after they threw away a two-goal lead in one of the most dramatic matches in Champions League history.
Real Madrid go onto face Liverpool in the final later this month, with City now concentrating on lifting a fourth Premier League title in five years. They face Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola is unsure what mental impact Wednesday night’s capitulation will have on his players
Several City players were left strewn on the Bernabeu turf after they threw away a two-goal lead against Real Madrid
‘This will have a positive impact on the Real players,’ Guardiola said. On us? I don’t know. We need time now. We have to do it with our people.
‘The players gave everything. We were so close but we couldn’t do it. In the history of football this happens. With the people supporting them it’s more difficult.
‘I had defeats in the Champions League, at Barcelona and we could not reach the final, but there’s no doubt it’s hard for us.
‘We need time to process that and come back with our people at home for the last four games. The players are sad.’
Rodrygo scored two goals in as many minutes to dramatically send the tie to extra time
Guardiola insisted his side’s first-half performance in the second leg left a lot to be desired but said City’s failure to see the job through was ‘normal’ with players feeling the pressure.
‘It is simple. In the first half we did not have game, we were not good enough,’ the Catalan added. ‘But we did not suffer much. After we scored the goal we were better. We found our tempo and our game and the players were comfortable.
‘It is not like in the last 10 minutes they attack and attack and you suffer. It didn’t happen. They put a lot of players in the box, with [Eder] Militao, Rodrygo, Vinicius, [Karim] Benzema and they put in crosses and scored two goals.
‘We didn’t play our best, but it is normal, a semi-final, the players feel the pressure and wanting to do it. Football is unpredictable, it is a game like this. We have to accept it.’
Karim Benzema won and scored the penalty which helped Madrid seal passage to the final